IMPORTANT: SAWCorp CWD Test is Not APHIS Approved

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SAWCorp, a private company, recently issued a press release launching a new, patented live-animal blood test for the detection of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in cervids. A subsequent press release from the same company stated that the USDA is reviewing the test for use in the CWD program.

USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) does not recognize protein misfolding cyclic amplification (PMCA) prion blood tests as an official test for CWD, bovine spongiform encephalopathy,or scrapie. By definition, an official CWD test is, “Any test for the diagnosis of CWD approved by the Administrator and conducted in a laboratory approved by the Administrator in accordance with §55.8 of this part” (9 CFR Part 55). The criteria necessary for approval as an official CWD test includes a standardized test protocol, data to support reproducibility, data to support suitability, and data to support the sensitivity and specificity of the test. While APHIS supports emerging technologies, no company has submitted the data needed for APHIS to evaluate the PMCA prion blood test. In addition, APHIS is aware of no peer-reviewed scientific publications that establish the efficacy of PMCA as a detection method for CWD in cervid blood.

If producers elect to use a PMCA test, APHIS will consider positive results to be “suspect” cases that must be confirmed using an official CWD test. APHIS will not recognize negative or “not detected” PMCA test results for herd certification or interstate movement purposes.



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